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Sunday, 31 July 2011

BANZAAAII !!! Japan Adventure

Actually the song ‘turning Japanese’ is about masturbation rather than Japan, but now I have your attention, chicken choker or not, I would like to tell you about one of my favourite places in the world.

From the cover of the totally out of date and
aimed at socially inept 19yr old virgins - 'Lonely Planet' (which doesn't even have a single entry for 'zen' in the JAPAN guide - speaks volumes)

Yes, yet again I’m here in the land of the ‘delivery health’ service, Metro train gropers, fish that clean  your hands, and of course the gadget covered and heated toilet seat - Japan.

So first morning, I was exhausted.  After a sleep free night playing Poker in London (to pay for my spending money here), and Leaving at 9.50am from Heathrow and arriving without much sleep in Tokyo 11am the next morning, I was pretty tired. After a quick airport Katsu Curry (future wives please take note, that’s my favourite dish and its really easy to cook I heard)
Waiting for the big one - Earthquakes are actually pretty common here, but take a bit of getting used to

I recommend staying at the Akusaka Weekly Mansion by the way, its not so expensive, self catering, free wifi and great location in Akusaka which is a posh place next to Roppongi (the bizzare and dirty foreigner town) More on the areas of Tokyo later though.

Anyway, I’ve already messed up once, and slept through my alarm to go to a Summer Festival north of Tokyo with a really nice couchsurfer (sorry, I’ll make it up to you!)  It’s a shame it sounded actually pretty cool. That’s the good thing about couchsurfing, you can land in a place and quicker than you say ‘unreliable guy with jetlag’ you can have a bunch of new friends and cool things to do.  And surprisingly I haven’t met any weirdos on it at all. (which is not what most couchsurfing friends say since they have met me)
Japan is a Pot Noodlers Dream 

Now its 7am and, since I slept from 1pm to 4am (I was woken by an earthquake, I kid you not!) I’m feeling fresh and ready for the crazy day ahead. There’s always something weird and unexpected happening in Tokyo. I’ve had many a ‘quiet night writing postcards in Roppongi Starbucks’ which has ended the next afternoon in a Romanian Strip Bar. But this is a family blog so less said the better….today I’m off somewhere about 2 hours out of Tokyo, to my old friend and colleagues friends BBQ. Of course I’ll be the only foreigner but it will be good fun. Naoko is a future famous generipper and inventor of man eating plants who make quality electronics goods (it’s the kind of thing I imagine Japanese gene biology people invent at least) ok ok I’ll ask when I see her.

Everything you need in Tokyo at 7am except a beer

Since I’ve been here 20 times before and my Japanese is still awful, I’m coming armed with audio-books in my kindle and ‘japanese from zero’ which had been languishing on my bookshelf (or rather kadi-anns bookshelf) for 3 years or so already. This is my favourite country outside Scotland, so I really should learn the lingo (since no one else speaks ‘Engwish’) ;o)

Tonight I’ll get up to Tokyo Dome, home of ‘thunder dolphin’ rollercoaster, to completely fix my jetlag, and ‘la qua Spa’ which is where I should have gone yesterday instead of paying for a hotel as you can basically live there indefinitely (more on this place later, as were going to ‘the biggest spa in the world, ‘spaworld’ in Osaka so will be good to compare)

The plan in for the next 2 weeks get a bus down to Oskaka and Kyoto, with my good friend Minako, then I’ll have 5 days in Tokyo (which may actually turn into 3 days in Macao as I’d really like to check it there)

Ps- did you know that many apartments in Japan miss out 4 and 9 because the word for four (shi) also means death and 9 (ku) means suffering?  Superstitions eh - Kind of silly. 13 is my favourite number and it never did me any harm (because I’m left handed I think)